Which PCI/e slots will work for a graphics card

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by cchili00, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. cchili00


    I am looking at a computer that has

    PCI: 2 Slots
    PCIe x1: 1 Slot
    PCIe x16 (Graphics): 1 Slot

    Someone (Dell representative) had told me that only the PCIe x16 slot would work for a graphics card. Is this true? The other slots are not compatible with graphic cards? Cuz looking at some of the commonly used cards out there, they say they are compatible with all compliant PCI or PCIe slots (i.e. x1, x4, x8, x16).
  2. PCI-E x16 is the one to use when using only one card. If you needed to add an additional card you can use PCI and, less commonly, PCI-E x1.

    But PCI-E x16, which dethroned AGP, is the interface most commonly used now, and will also have the best card selection.
  3. cchili00


    That's what I thought. The guy was telling me if upgraded to a video card from the integrated graphics, that would take up the PCIe x16 slot, and that was the only slot that would work for graphics, so I wouldn't be able to add any other cards.
  4. As often occurs, the "Dell guy" didn't know what he was talking about.

    ANY video card which matches one of your available slots will work, so long as it is compatible with others installed.
  5. The part about being "compliant PCI or PCIE" is not true. You need a PCI card for a PCI slot. Neither PCI nor PCIE will work in the other's type of slot.
  6. cchili00


    Yeah, I figured as much about the "Dell guy".

    In regards to the compatibility issue, are different brands of cards not compatible? Do you have to have all the same cards?
  7. cchili00


    Right, I didn't mean PCI in a PCIe slot or vice versa. Just meant that for the PCI card it said it was compliant with any PCI slot and for the PCIe card with any PCIe slot. Sorry for the confusion.
  8. They aren't as touchy for compatibility as they used to be, but it's still a concern.

    If you want only 2 monitors, any dualhead display card will be OK. If you want 3 or 4 monitors, I recommend Nvidia Quadro NVS line, or Matrox... preference to NVS, though.

    If you have 3 or 4 monitors and want the machine for gaming as well as trading, that's potentially touchy, depending upon what mobo slots you have available.

    Mixing video card drivers is potentially troublesome. Suggest having only one installed.
  9. cchili00


    Thanks for the info! Hmm, I need to run 3 monitors, but the issue is that the system I am looking at has a slim design, so it limits the number of cards that will work. I guess I could just get two matrox dual cards, I saw that they have options for low-profile cards.
  10. For 4 monitors, you can use a PCIE quad, but that's expensive.

    You probably also have either 1 or 2 PCIE slots (an x16 + x1) and 1 or 2 PCI slots.

    For a slim case, you can get a separate mounting bracket and swap with the ATX-case size bracket, if necessary.

    Nvidia Quadro NVS will be easier to find and much less expensive than Matrox... unless you have an AGP mobo.
    #10     Nov 19, 2007